Funny thing nerves.
It took me nearly two years to finish this one, which is pretty shameful really.
I lost track of how many times I put it back on the easel, resolved to finish it, bottled it and turned it to the wall again like a guilty secret.
Somewhere in the back of my mind was the sneaking realisation that it wasn't the painting that was inadequate, it was me.
I knew that if I painted it further down the line, it would benefit from the time I'd spent improving.
Self awareness is a wonderful thing, and it's good to be honest about your limitations as long as it spurs you on to greater things.
Two years, and a lot of trial and terror later, I had to face up to the fact that it was finished and would have to be delivered.
I'm no stranger to standing before the critical eye of the fee paying beholder, but it's different when what you're presenting is such a personal statement about both you and the sitter, and I'm not ashamed to say I was bricking it.
Hard nosed corporate heavyweight though he is, Peter came up with the sort of instant response that makes you feel the world isn't such a bad place after all.
Painting people's stories, their lives, their complexities is an extraordinary mix of objectivity and intimacy.
All I've ever really wanted to do was create pictures and make people laugh and cry.
It could be I've found a way to do all three.